Energy & Water Conservation

Energy and Water Conservation

Energy Conservation

A typical fume hood in the United States that runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year uses 3.5 times more energy than the average house! New hood models are more efficient but the key to reducing energy consumption in labs is to close the sashes when the hoods are not in use. If you work with Variable Air Volume (VAV) fume hoods, you can reduce their energy consumption by 60%! Shutting the sash reduces the amount of exhaust going through the hood, which means less air has to be conditioned and released into the room to replace it.

Turn things off!

  • Turn off lab equipment you're not using (centrifuges, stir plates, etc.)
  • Turn off lights in empty rooms;
  • Power manage your computer, by activating sleep mode. Contact energy@fas.harvard.edu if you need help.

Shut the Sash Contest

Since 2006, we have been running a “Shut the Sash” contest in CCB to help people get in the habit of closing their sashes. We track each hood to see which room decreased its exhaust - that is, had closed sashes – for a few weeks, compared to baseline data. Educational materials, emails, and visits to group meetings accompanied contest publicity and updates.

Together, the labs decreased hood exhaust by about 21%. If sustained over the course of the year, that would save over $100,000!

Water Conservation

Install control timers on water processors

Contact us at energy@fas.harvard.edu if you have water processors in your lab. We could work with Evolve on installing water control timers, solenoids and time overrride switches to reduce water consumption of the processors when they are not in use. The savings from this easy measure would pay back for the project in less than a year.